By Michael P Coleman

Positioned squarely between the classic Jaws and the comical Sharknado franchise, The Meg, blessedly, more closely resembles the former.  Maybe that’s because it’s tossed in a little Jurassic Park, just for good measure. 

This is a good ol’ fashioned popcorn thriller that makes for a great end-of-summer outing.  Action star Jason Statham leads the cast, and I don’t know about you, but I always feel just a bit safer when he’s around. 

It’s a feeling that’s needed with The Meg.  Enhanced by a John Williams-influenced score by Harry Gregson-Williams, we get a glimpse of what we’re in for within the film’s first few minutes.  This is about all you need to know:  a prehistoric shark that’s four times bigger than any fish Peter Benchley ever dreamed up is swimming around.  And she’s hungry.  And there’s a crowded beach scene.  And Jason Statham is there to help.  And I always feel just a bit safer when Jason’s around.  But…

holy Jesus that’s a big shark.  And she’s got a lot of teeth.  

As I waited for The Meg to start, I realized I’d not seen a shark movie in the theatre since a 10-year-old Michael Patrick saw Jaws.  There’s a reason for that:  I was scared shitless.  I still think about it today.  One of my biggest accomplishments was going swimming off the coast of southern Florida a few years ago.  I say a quick prayer before I take a dip in the Sacramento River. 

Deep Blue Sea, The Shallows, 47 Meters Down…they were all entertaining movies, but I watched them at home.  After Spielberg’s 1975 masterpiece, I couldn’t bring myself to see a shark flick in a darkened theatre.  I should have stuck to my guns on that.   Going in, I knew The Meg was all CGI and special effects, but…

holy Jesus that’s a big shark. 

Once again, just as in 1975:  scared shitless.

I’m probably being too gracious to The Meg to even mention it in the same sentence as Jaws, the granddaddy of the modern summer blockbuster.  As I said up front, this one has a little bit of Sharknado thrown in too.  Some scenes were so close to parody that I wondered whether director Jon Turteltaub had intentionally placed his tongue firmly in his cheek.  The Meg’s finale ended that speculation — Turteltaub was in on the joke all along.  And he was smart to leave most of the blood and gore out of the movie, ensuring a PG-13 rating and a more family-oriented audience. 

And thank God Jason Statham was there.  I always feel just a bit safer when Jason’s around.  But…

holy Jesus, that’s a big shark! 

The Meg has opened wide (I LOVE that tag line!) and is in theaters everywhere.


Mike Coleman headshotonly nologo 300

Sacramento-based freelancer Michael P Coleman is a big fan of Jason Statham (DUH).  Connect with him and Coleman Communications at or follow him on Twitter:  @ColemanMichaelP


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